Monday, August 6, 2012

Motivation... Let's Do This

It is time to stop playing at changing my life, and to just do it.  I have been waffling about, back and forth with this blog, and with my life for too long now.  I am 42 years old, about 100 pounds overweight, and now I am hyperglycemic.  I have had tests done, and my blood sugar is higher than it should be, but thus far my doctor doesn't want to start me on medications, he wants me to change my lifestyle and eating habits, and see if that doesn't reverse it.

This is actually old news.  I have been like this for about a year now.  I had started seeing a dietitian, I had been exercising and had managed to lose a little bit of weight (about 10 pounds, nothing too crazy), but then, as seems to be my style, I petered out. I like to joke that I am the perfect embodiment of entropy.  I will take all these steps and get organized and have everything set up as I want it, but then over time, things start to slide out of control again.  A neat and tidy desk becomes a cluttered mess, a clean house also becomes a cluttered mess, and my great and wonderful, wise health and life choices become chaos. For the past 2 1/2 years I have been hyperfocused on nursing school.  I spent inordinate amounts of time sitting in my study chair reading textbooks and powerpoints, working on group projects, studying for exams and trying to get through all the fairly challenging classes that come with school.

I have been very fortunate to have a supportive partner who has allowed me to do this, by stepping up and filling my shoes with cooking meals, taking our daughter to her extracurricular activities and athletic practices, and other such things that traditionally would fall to me.  However, in some ways this has enabled me to be sedentary. Summers and holiday breaks don't see me getting out of my chair to be super active.  I sit in my chair and read fun, fiction, and non text books, or surfing the internet, when I should be up and about, playing outside and getting some damn exercise.  Motivation tends to be lacking.... and there has also been a toll taken on my body and my psyche.  I am physically tired, and I feel overwhelmed when I contemplate what I need to do to reverse the damage I have done to myself.

This has become ever so painfully obvious with the starting of my job as a nurse tech at a local hospital. I am finding the work to be extremely physically challenging.  12 hour shifts leave me sore, stiff and exhausted, physically; overwhelmed, stressed, and drained emotionally.  It has been very humbling.  I have been working for about a month, orienting, and there have been more than my share of moments that I have questioned whether or not I am physically able to do this job, which leads to doubts about whether I will be able to even function as a nurse in a hospital med/surg or ER setting, much less be good at it.  I don't want to fail. I don't want this to end me.  I have put too much time and money and effort into school and clinicals, and am doing the same at my job, I would be devastated emotionally and financially if I can't get through this.I have the stamina, this I know, because I have been able to work the shifts and see them through.  It's been rather grueling, though... and I hope to get to a point where it is tiring, yes, but not horrifically so.  At present, I require a whole day to recover from working multiple shifts.  A whole day of essentially just sitting around and letting the soreness and pain ebb away from my legs/feet/back... damn lactic acid buildup! :p A whole day of this, before I can really try to do much physical activity.  I also need to move faster.  I feel very heavy and clumsy and kind of like a bull in a china shop right now.  I have no hustle in my muscle. I am also painfully aware that I have very little upper body strength, which is something I need to cultivate for patient transfers and turns, hefting heavy linen and garbage bags into the dumpsters, and such things.

The only way this is going to change is if I start working out.  I need cardio to improve my cardiovascular fitness and to burn all this extra fat, I need resistance and strength training to get stronger and build back my muscle.  I need to make healthier food choices to get my blood sugar back in check and to also lose some of this extra fat.

I went to see my sister in Austin, TX in June.  I was there for 3 weeks, and starting then, and continuing with starting my job, I have lost about 10 pounds.  I ate better, and not as often when I was with my sister.  Since I have been back, I haven't entirely slipped into old habits. I have been leaving food on my plate where before I'd clean it (large portions), and I am not eating as much in a day (especially on work days).  Between the decreased food intake (and healthier choices... they have a bomb salad bar at the hospital cafeteria) and the increased activity of working mostly 12 hour shifts, I have continued to lose weight.  But now, I need to add exercise to the mix.  I need to get better at organizing my time and prioritizing exercise, fitting it into my lifestyle.

I really wish  I had a workout buddy to keep me company and to keep me honest and accountable.  I don't, however.  So I started this blog, and well... we've seen how well that's worked out.  :p LOL!  I'm not giving up though dammit! I am going to dust this off and try again.  So to that end, I am stating goals for today.  Today I want to do a 20 minute high intensity cardio workout on my treadmill.  I also want to do some weight training on my upper body, and I wouldn't mind doing a bit of yoga to stretch and limber up.  This may sound like a lot to tackle in one day, but I actually did this when I was taking PE in my J Term class.  Did it daily for a month, and lost 10 pounds in that month.  So I can do it.  If I do, that would get me to a 20 pound loss by the time school starts, and I'll also be more physically fit... my heart will be healthier and all that good stuff.

I am working now, so I have a bit more money to spend.  I think next check I may try to purchase some time with a personal trainer, so I can further have someone to be accountable to, and have a specific exercise prescription for my needs.  To quote L'Oreal... "I'm worth it!"

I have installed the Blogger app on my phone, so I will post a current pic of me for my "before" picture.  And I will post pictures as I go to show the results I am getting from my efforts.  I really want to do this.  I'm finally scared enough and at my "rock bottom" weight and health wise.    If anyone is interested in being my workout/walking/hiking/maybe running buddy, let me know.  I'd love to have company, a coach, an inspiration, etc.

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